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Tough Way To Go

As a Browns fan to the core, I must say that I am accustomed to this result... Steelers 15 Browns 10. It does not matter if they beat us by 5 or 50, the loss to them still stings the same. I always talk about the Steelers toughness and how they always find ways to win. That was on full display in a game that was a referendum on this team to this point in the season.

Even with all the talent the Browns employ on the field the fact remains, they lack the killer instinct when it is winning time against quality opponents. It started right away in week one against the Chiefs, who in retrospect was an inferior opponent. There were a number of plays down the stretch where the Browns did not execute or just plain self destructed. At the time, fans said, "Hey, we hung in there with the Chiefs." We took solace in defeat.

Then the Texans came to town, and honestly when Tyrod Taylor was in the game we were not only outplayed, but the Texans were playing much tougher. The Bears game was a joke, but the Chargers were not. There is a trend here seven games in, when we can overwhelm a team with our talent, we find a way to win. Against teams on the same playing field though, we shrink when the lights shine the brightest. There was a lot of speculation this week about Baker Mayfield's injury and if he should start.

In my opinion, he played a great game, full of passion and fire. He was not the reason we lost the game. I know there were a lot of drops, questionable play calls, and a critical turnover, but I can chalk that up to the game. Thats football, sometimes the breaks do not go your way. My problem, is that the TEAM consistently finds way to lose. One player cant do it alone. We have such a great collection of talent that it should seem elementary that they should all play together with synergy, grit, and tenacity. Sadly that is not the case.

The Browns have been so disappointing because they play so flat for most of the game. it is almost like they expect to be better than other teams instead of going out with their hair on fire trying to prove it. One thing is sure, last season is last season. None of the success or wins transfer over to this year. If anything, the bullseye just got bigger and the league got better. So at 4-4 what are the Browns going to do? Continue to play an uninspiring, undisciplined (they have the most penalty yards of any team so far this season) brand of football that will have them planning a vacation in January. Or take a look in the mirror and play up to the standard of the great players reflected in that mirror. The choice is theirs. There is a lot of season left, but the feeling after this latest Steelers loss feels all too familiar.

The difference between all those other losses and this one is that I never thought we had the team that could get the job done before. I always thought there was a player we could bring in, or a coach that we needed to fire before we could take off. Now, I cant think of what moves we need to make no matter how long I ponder. That is because the players needed to turn this season around are right here, in this locker room, and they play for the Browns on Sunday. Us fans just need them to realize that as well. The season depends on it.

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